Surfboards are made from many materials and with a variety of tools. Foam, shaping machines, resin and lots of hours of hard work are put into the development and design of modern day surfboards. There are many types of different boards and ways to shape a surfboard.
In this article we try to give you a general idea how surfboards are made and what materials are used:
1 FOAM BLANK
Almost all surfboards are made with foam blanks. They are made out of polyurethane or polystyrene (styrofoam). They can be ordered in a number of shapes, thickness, densities with preset or custom rockers.
Usually the foam blank is strengthened by one or more stringers. The stringer is a strip of strengthening material like wood glued vertically into the foam of the surfboard blank blank giving it strength and flex memory for the surfboard.
3 SHAPING THE BLANK
The outline of the finished board is traced onto the blank and cut out with a saw. The blank is then smoothened with a variety of tools like a power planer, a power sander and different grades of sandpaper.
4 LEASH HOLE AND FIN BOX
A hole is drilled for the leash and the fin is secured with fiberglass tape and a laminating resin.
5 FIBERGLASS CLOTH
To strengthen the surfboard a layer of fiberglass cloth is applied to the entire length of the foam blank. They are available in various weights, patterns and finishes.
To bond the cloth to the foam blank resin is poured onto the cloth until it is completely saturated. This is called laminating. After this has hardened it is sanded down to give it its final shape. A further coating of resin, which is a gloss coat, can be given to give it a high gloss finish.
There are many innovations in surfboard design nowadays. Check these Mushroom Surfboards.
Featured image by Johan